A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.00
  • Save: $5.99 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
A Few Seconds of Radiant ... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade Hardcover – April 1, 2014


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.01
$7.99 $2.15

Too Close to Me by Dave Pelzer
Too Close to Me: The Middle-Aged Consequences of Revealing a Child Called "It"
The fifth in Dave Pelzer's series provides a look at the difficulties inherent in leading a life after surviving physical and emotional terrors as a child. Learn more | See similar books
$18.01 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade + The Empathy Exams: Essays + All the Light We Cannot See
Price for all three: $43.62

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In three acclaimed novels and two story collections, Brockmeier (The Illumination, 2011) earned his reputation as a literary virtuoso attuned to the illusory facets of everyday life. His rollicking first memoir, centered on his formative year in the seventh grade, affirms his talents and explores their foundations. Twelve-year-old Kevin kicks off the school year eavesdropping on a crush and becoming the butt of jokes during an all-school weekend sleepaway, initiating a turbulent year in which he determines he’s a Night Court guy, shows up at his Christian school dressed as Dolly Parton for Halloween, discovers the possibilities of literature, and tastes the brief satisfaction of celebrity after staging a play. Narrating in feverish third-person prose that accentuates his clumsy steps toward adulthood, Brockmeier examines the false intimacy of first kisses, the variable definitions of “best friend,” the unexpected ways jokes can escalate, and the absurd lengths one sometimes goes to impress others. In a hilariously vivid, novelistic chronicle of the mid–1980s, Brockmeier nails the awkward triumphs and life-affirming disasters of teenagedom, revealing the creative significance of what might otherwise seem banal. --Jonathan Fullmer

Review

Filmstrip is a funny, poignant oddity. . . . There's something here for you as long as you remember being 12, having disloyal friends, and wondering when the opposite sex was going to discover how cool you were. . . . The prose is always a pleasure, and our little underdog hero is so likable that you're relieved just to be holding the book in your hands: It's proof that he turned out okay. A-”
Entertainment Weekly

“Brockmeier’s evocative, gracefully written memoir so beautifully captures a slice of our lives many may be tempted to write about, but few want to remember. . . . Brockmeier also does an excellent job anchoring his memoir in time without limiting its appeal only to those who came of age in that decade. In his fiction, Brockmeier has shown he’s a versatile prose stylist, and he makes the transition to memoir without sacrificing that quality. . . . Lovely.”
Bookreporter 

“Masterful. . . . This is painful stuff—and important and beautifully written stuff, in Brockmeier’s hands—worthy of your time and attention. It’s insightful, relayed at a propulsive clip, and captures the complicated inner life of a seventh grader with more unflinching precision than anything you’ll read on the subject. This book will help you.”
Biographile
 
“A delicately rendered memoir that bathes the invariably painful past in a kind of gold-glowing tenderness. . . . There are plenty of memoirs that recount extraordinary circumstances and adventures, but I cannot think of one that so magically involves us in an exploration of the commonplace. A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip is a look back—not in vengeance, anger or even gloating—but in wonder at the miraculous variety of experience, and the ways we come to be ourselves.”
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
 
“Beautifully written. . . . The books rings awfully true . . . Brockmeier’s potent, honest prose makes for a vivid, funny and achingly familiar read.”
Arkansas Times

"Funny, gripping, and heartbreaking." 
Rain Taxi Review of Books

“Every book by Kevin Brockmeier is unsettling, strange, and impossible to forget. . . . He challenges the way we see the world. His latest, A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip, catapults us all back to middle school with time-machine perfection. . . . Heartbreakingly honest.”
—Caroline Leavitt, bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

“In three acclaimed novels and two story collections, Brockmeier earned his reputation as a literary virtuoso attuned to the illusory facets of everyday life. His rollicking first memoir, centered on his formative year in the seventh grade, affirms his talents and explores their foundations. . . . In a hilariously vivid, novelistic chronicle of the mid-1980s, Brockmeier nails the awkward triumphs and life-affirming disasters of teenagedom, revealing the creative significance of what might otherwise seem banal.”
—Jonathan Fullmer, Booklist

“A truly stunning hybrid—a memoir told with the imaginative vibrancy and the uncanny precision of the best fiction. This book will floor you, and flood you with a torrent of your own memories from the terrifying, electric threshold between childhood and adulthood. If you're new to his work, this is a phenomenal place to start.”
—Karen Russell, bestselling author of Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove
 
“Brockmeier is surely one of our great writers. Here seventh grade is rendered in such lovingly vivid detail—the year is so perfectly remembered—that you feel, after reading it, that the memory in fact belongs to you. I loved it.”
—Ethan Rutherford, author of The Peripatetic Coffin
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307908984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307908988
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sally B. Owen on April 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Boys? Seventh Grade? Not subjects I care much about at my rather advanced age. However, Kevin Brockmeier is a favorite author of mine, so this book was a "must read" for me.
Kevin's memories of his year are haunting. I expected them to be well-written but I was taken by surprise by how moved I was and how much I cared about Kevin and his experience of this sometimes difficult age. His descriptions of the verbal cruelty that can be inflicted by our peers are painful. Brockmeier is a talented, sensitive writer, no matter what the subject. I consider him one of the best writers at work today.
I highly recommend this book if you are male or female and have ever been in seventh grade.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ahh, seventh grade. There are not a lot of people, at least among those I know, who would choose to go back to that time in their lives. Kevin Brockmeier, though, decides to brave that very journey in his new work: A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A memoir of seventh grade. Unfortunately, while there are some beautiful moments in here, and some wonderful passages, there wasn’t quite enough here to justify an entire book in my mind. Even if it is a slim book, coming in at under 200 pages.

The memoir does exactly what it promises, taking us via third-person narration from just before young Kevin’s seventh grade starts and closing at the very end of the year. In between, we’re treated to many of the scenes that comprise the reasons most people don’t want to go back.

• The fear of always being one step (or more) out of touch: stickers used to be in, now they are not. Check.

• The embarrassment of saying the wrong thing: “But when Kevin makes the announcement, the others laugh and say, ‘Snack time?’ and ‘Hey, it’s time for snacks everyone, “ . . . until the drums in his head go click-click-click and snack time is safely stored away, added to the list of things it is impermissible to acknowledge or say.”

• The hierarchies of fashion: “Holes are cooler than no holes, buttons are cooler than zippers. Levi’s are cooler than Lees, Lees are cooler than Wranglers, and Wranglers are cooler than Toughskins. It has taken him longer than average, but he is learning.”

• The aching desire to nail down just who you are: “If only he could remember . . . his life would fit together without a single missing piece. Would snap flat and turn into a picture. Would look the way it does on the box.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. A Truett VINE VOICE on April 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read the description of this book and thought, "Yes, a way to get inside the head of my twelve-year-old son." He's been home schooled for 3 years and will soon return to public school for 7th grade. Having been a girl in 7th grade (ha ha), I don't know much about what middle school is like for boys.

My first reaction to this book, as I finished the first chapter, was: "Oh God, no, I was wrong, I don't want to be inside my son's head. If this is in his head, I am better off ignorant."

Cause, really, twelve-year-old boys seem overly preoccupied with penises and swear words.

So I gave up on the idea of getting inside my own kid's head and read this for it's own sake, as a good book where a character grows and changes over the course of the story. And I loved it. So many of the scenes took me back to Hopkins Middle School, being teased and tormented in ways I didn't even know how to put into words. Kids know how to make you miserable while looking like your friend. Friends sometimes seem like they want to make you miserable and you cannot tell where you stand with them at all. Good ideas turn into humiliations and humiliations somehow shape who you become.

Thank you, Kevin, for this open and honest memoir of 7th grade I salute you.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JD Cetola VINE VOICE on April 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've read two of Kevin Brockmeier's novels ("The Illumination" and "The Brief History of the Dead") and they both bring interesting (almost far out) concepts to life in an entertaining and thoughtful way. This autobiography provides some insight into where some of those thoughts originated, but isn't nearly as interesting or entertaining as either novel.

"Radiant Filmstrip" covers Brockmeier's 7th grade school year (to include the summer preceding it). It's told in third person which makes it read more like a novel than an autobiography and weakens the story in my opinion. 7th grade Kevin comes across as a nerdy, intelligent kid with a big imagination who is often on the borderline of being bullied and/or ignored. He's a bit whiny and not nearly as likable or endearing as you'd think he'd be given the quality of the author's prior work. Certainly those who came of age in the 80s will find something they can relate to, but I found 7th grade Kevin less interesting or fun to spend time with than I anticipated. It's a quick read and does provide some insight into Brockmeier's powerful imagination, but it fell short of expectations.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By George Aubrey VINE VOICE on April 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Adolescence. A topic of comic misadventures, great tragedy, but a topic often not done very well. Kevin Brockmeier has distilled his seventh grade year into the essence of all the things others aspire to address in a simple, well written autobiography. Insecurity. Inexplicable changes of friendships and alliances. The inequities of puberty. The need to fit in, to belong. It is all here in this small volume of genuine. I enjoyed it very much and highly recommend it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade
This item: A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade
Price: $18.01
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?